The number of new coronavirus cases per week has nearly doubled globally over the past two months, approaching the highest rate seen so far during the pandemic.'Situation is extremely challenging' »
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy had a message Friday afternoon for the 6.8 million Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and who, in recent days, have read concerning reports about blood clotting: “The vast and overwhelming likelihood is that you will be just fine,” Dr. Murthy said during a briefing of the White House coronavirus task force. He added that the task force was quite confident in that assertion, which is in keeping with what scientists know about the vaccine. The Biden administration told states on Tuesday to stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six reports of blood clotting, including one death.
Israel's foreign minister said Friday that his country was determined to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon, after Tehran promised to step up its uranium enrichment process. “We will do whatever it takes to prevent the extremists (in Iran) from succeeding, and definitely will prevent this regime from having a nuclear weapon,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters on a visit to Cyprus. Iranian officials say the country will begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity following an attack on its nuclear facility at Natanz, in central Iran, on Sunday, that it blamed on Israel.
The Biden administration on Friday said it will invest $1.7 billion to help states and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fight COVID-19 variants that are rapidly spreading across the United States. The investment, which will be part of President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, will improve detection, monitoring, and mitigation of these variants by scaling up genomic sequencing efforts - a key step in containing the spread, the White House said. In early February, U.S. laboratories were only sequencing about 8,000 COVID-19 strains per week.
Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir said Friday that they arrested one of their own officers and dismissed her for obstructing a counterinsurgency operation in the disputed region. The officer livestreamed a cordon and search operation by government forces in southern Frisal village on Wednesday “with the intent of disrupting the search operation,” police said in a statement. In the video, which went viral on social media, the woman was seen shouting: “This is our Kashmir” while hurling invectives at the raiding troops.
Lawmakers who have criticized former President Donald Trump have reportedly had to spend a significant amount of cash on security following the deadly Capitol riot. A report from Punchbowl News on Friday described how members of Congress "are spending tens of thousands of their campaign dollars on security to protect themselves and their families" in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot, during which supporters of Trump stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Biden's election win. This phenomenon has reportedly been "most acute" among Republicans who voted to impeach and convict Trump earlier this year.
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Russia on Friday responded to a barrage of new U.S. sanctions by saying it would expel 10 U.S. diplomats and take other retaliatory moves in a tense showdown with Washington. The Russian Foreign Ministry also published a list of eight current or former U.S. officials barred from entering the country, including U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said Moscow will move to shut down those U.S. nongovernment organizations that remain in Russia to end what he described as their meddling in Russia's politics.
The European Union's imports from Britain almost halved in the first two months of the year following the UK exit from the EU single market, data showed on Friday, and the 27-nation bloc's trade surplus with Britain rose as exports fell by less. The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said EU imports from Britain dropped 47.0% year-on-year in January-February to 16.6 billion euros ($19.9 billion) while exports to the United Kingdom declined only 20.2% to 39.8 billion euros.
La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions. Friday morning's blast “wasn't a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds," said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent.
House of Representatives Republicans who supported former President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn his election defeat on average raised less in campaign funds in the first three months of the year than those who opposed it, federal records show. Sixty-five House Republicans who voted in January to accept election results that put President Joe Biden in the White House raised about $360,000 on average for their re-election campaigns, according to a Reuters review of Federal Election Commission disclosures through Thursday's filing deadline. That is about 25% higher than the roughly $290,000 on average raised by re-election campaigns for 136 House Republicans who voted in support of Trump's false claims that his defeat was the result of widespread election fraud.
An appeals court has overturned the sentence of Texas's longest-serving death row inmate, whose attorneys say has languished in prison for more than 45 years because he's too mentally ill to be executed.
Reports of mass Russian troop mobilisations in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine have sparked fears of renewed war between Moscow and Kiev. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Telegraph's Senior Foreign Correspondent Roland Oliphant, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy argues that the confrontation is a test for Western values. Daily Telegraph: What do you think the Kremlin is trying to achieve with the current troop build-up?
A bee caused a bit of chaos on a Washington highway when it stung a driver, officials say. Joshua Young, 40, was driving a semi loaded with cheese on Wednesday when a bee stung him, he told the Washington State Patrol. The sting was so bad, it caused him to veer off the road and into the guardrail, Washington State Patrol Trooper Will Finn told McClatchy News.
Lebanon's Hezbollah has made preparations for an all-out collapse of the fracturing state, issuing ration cards for food, importing medicine and readying storage for fuel from its patron Iran, three sources familiar with the plans told Reuters. The moves, responding to a grave economic crisis, would mark an expansion of services provided by the armed movement to its large Sh'ite support base, with a network that already boasts charities, a construction firm and a pension system. The steps highlight rising fears of an implosion of the Lebanese state, in which authorities can no longer import food or fuel to keep the lights on.
Now the scandal-plagued politician hopes to surf their discontent with Gov. Brian Kemp to the Republican nomination. Jones announced Friday that he would challenge the incumbent governor in 2022. Jones was a state representative on the outs with his party when he shot to prominence in Republican circles as an African American Democrat who endorsed Trump's reelection campaign.
Crews have suspended the search for a missing man, who is now presumed dead, after officials spotted a capsized kayak on Sunday and rescued his dog from Carter Lake in Colorado, according to officials. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office officials said on Friday that the search has been suspended after teams have spent more than 700 hours looking for the man believed to be from Loveland. Rangers found an uninjured dog wearing a flotation device and a kayak in the lake Sunday afternoon but no kayaker.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday revoked a series of Trump administration orders that promoted fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and issued a separate directive that prioritizes climate change in agency decisions. The moves are part of a government-wide effort by the Biden administration to address climate change ahead of a virtual global summit on climate change that President Joe Biden is hosting next week. “From day one, President Biden was clear that we must take a whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis, strengthen the economy and address environmental justice,” Haaland said in a statement.
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) -Experts advising Canada's most populous province of Ontario said on Friday new COVID-19 cases could more than double to 10,000 a day in June, and potentially overwhelm hospitals, even if a stay at home order is extended. The dire forecast came as Moderna said it would cut its next delivery to Canada by nearly half to 650,000 doses, and Canada announced a deal to buy 8 million more Pfizer vaccine doses. In recent weeks Ontario has closed schools, restaurants, limited in-store shopping, and cancelled elective surgeries as a surge of admissions threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
A federal judge gave the green light Thursday to move jailed R&B singer R. Kelly to New York City to go on trial this summer after several delays. Kelly has been held in Chicago, where he's facing a potential second trial in the fall in a separate federal case related to a sprawling sex crimes investigation. The trial in Brooklyn federal court had been put off because of the pandemic.
Sen. Ted Cruz has stopped wearing a mask at the Capitol, CNN reports. Cruz claimed "everybody" in the Senate is vaccinated, but that's not true of all staffers, reporters, and lawmakers. The CDC still recommends vaccinated individuals to wear a mask when in public.
NASA has awarded billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to fly astronauts to the moon, bypassing Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc, the Washington Post reported on Friday. The bid by Tesla Inc chief Musk beat one from Amazon.com Inc's founder Jeff Bezos, who had partnered with Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and Draper, the report added. Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
A 2-year-old Georgia girl died Thursday, almost a week after she was found unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Florida Keys vacation rental home in which she and her family were staying. Leland Rudeen's family released a statement on Facebook Thursday saying that she had died a day after undergoing an MRI at Nicklaus Children's Hospital near South Miami. “Shortly after the devastating MRI results, as we were trying to wrap our head around some hard decisions ahead of us, Leland took the choice out of our hands and started her painless decline,” the statement reads.
Eric Stillman fatally shot the 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago on March 29. A lawyer for the police officer who fatally shot the 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago has complained that few people have asked how his client is doing. The lawyer for Eric Stillman said in a statement quoted by The Daily Beast: "What is amazing and disheartening is that very few have asked about the welfare of the officer."
Lawmakers who criticized Trump or voted to impeach him spent thousands to improve personal security after the Capitol attack. Republicans including Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney beefed up their security, per Punchbowl News. Prominent lawmakers spent tens of thousands of dollars on private security guards and other protection following the Capitol riots, a Punchbowl News analysis of campaign finance records shows.
GOP Reps. Greene and Boebert voted against a bill that would renew the National Marrow Donor Program. "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue," a spokesman for Greene said. GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado were the only members of Congress to vote against a bill that would provide patients who suffer from leukemia or other blood diseases access to potentially life-saving bone marrow transplants.
“There’s no ‘both sides of the debate’ when it comes to active voter suppression.”
“Companies that do this ooze contempt for their own customers and employees who are not in the leftmost quarter of opinion.”
“The truth is that Fortune 500 companies were never taking moral stances from the goodness of their corporate hearts.”
“The truth is, the companies hold the cards…If companies stick to their guns, Georgia is likely to back down as well.”
“When a company folds to the unfounded outrage of a few misinformed nuts, they are forever at the mob’s beck-and-call.”